The expert team of scientists advising the Health Ministry are coming up with measures that would allow airports to resume operation by June, Head of the Pancyprian Medical Association’s Special Committee on dealing with the coronavirus, Maria Koliou, said Tuesday.
Koliou stressed that there will be strict preconditions of entry for visitors arriving on the island.
The opening of airports, she said, is scheduled for mid-June but what needs to be done is to see to what degree this will take place, and how, noting that the process would need to take place in stages.
“When airports reopen, there will be very strict preconditions for the tourists that are to come to Cyprus,” Koliou said, noting that measures are already being prepared.
The EU is also busy preparing measures for the safe opening of borders, as “it is something that worries them greatly, because if one country manages the situation and then infected tourists arrive, it will be easy for the virus to begin spreading anew,” Koliou said.
But at the same time, Koliou noted that “you can’t place a tourist in quarantine for 14 days. The person will come to rest, to relax, to enjoy their holidays, and as such it’s up to us to place those prerequisites that will ensure the safety of our country.”
The measures, Koliou explained, will aim to control the arrival of visitors, with visitors from countries where the pandemic is in a manageable state to have priority.
Koliou expressed the hope that tourists set to come to Cyprus will get themselves checked for the virus before flying in, but said there are less concerns over tourists coming in from Greece and other small European countries that have managed to control the pandemic to a large degree.
“We still have another month to figure this out,” Koliou said, adding that “I believe that by then the epidemiological indicators will have changed in many countries. We will also see what other countries are doing and we will follow suit so that there is coordination.”
She noted that while the scientific team has yet to discuss the reopening of checkpoints, restrictions there are expected to be lifted in unison with airports.
Situation to be reviewed Friday
Koliou said that a meeting is set to take place on Friday at the Presidential Palace under President Nicos Anastasiades, during which the scientific team will review the unfolding situation.
She noted that it will be the first evaluation after almost two weeks of the first relaxation of restriction measures, with the second phase set to be launched on May 21.
So far, Koliou said, Cyprus has responded well and has shown no deviation from epidemiological parameters set, but noted that the effects of the first relaxation of measures are expected to become clearer in the coming days.